In all categories, users rate security as a top consideration when choosing access control products. It is therefore incumbent on suppliers to meet this demand.
Like video surveillance, access control is increasingly moving towards IP, and inevitably this triggers concerns for cyberattacks, for example hacking into IP-based readers/controllers, using them as an avenue for DoS attacks and intercepting communications between access control devices if not properly encrypted.
These concerns, then, have prompted users to demand highly secure features
in their access control solutions. asmag.com has confirmed this trend through our survey, which asked users to select their top brands in the following categories: access control management software, mobile solutions and wireless locks. In all categories, users rate security as a top consideration when choosing access control products. It is therefore incumbent on suppliers to meet this demand. Below we examine and analyze findings from the survey.
First category: Access control management software
The access control management software
is basically the brain of the access control system, processing and responding to access requests. In this category, the top brands are Suprema (selected by 27.94 percent of respondents), HID Global (13.53 percent), ZKTeco (10.88 percent), ASSA ABLOY (10.29 percent) and Genetec (10.29 percent). Other major brands got special mentions too, including Johnson Controls, Gallagher, Vanderbilt, Openpath, AMAG, Identiv and Allegion.
Being software, access control management software stands out with good security, user interface and integration with other systems. Indeed these are the features that users said influenced their selection of top brands. In particular, security stands out as the main feature that users look for as shown in the following comments:
- "Top-notch security.”
- "Stable hardware, OSDP, GDPR and cybersecurity compliance apart from availability of unified platform for integration of CCTV and intrusion detection.”
- "Reliability, wide programing options, high security degree.”
- "Good security.”
- "High security and high quality.”
- "Security features.”
Integration with other security systems and ease of use also ranked high in the top features that users are looking for:
- "Support various cameras.”
- "Integration with multiple systems.”
- "Should support various credential devices and provides excellent technology for interworking with other systems.”
- "Easy configuration and implementation. Availability in our country.”
- "User friendly.”
As access control moves more and more online, the access control management software should include more cybersecurity features and integrative capabilities to connect with other IP-based security systems for example video surveillance and intrusion alarms. These demands are clearly indicated by readers in our survey. The top-performing brands are well-known for providing good security and integration so it’s no surprise that they clinched the top spots.
Second category: Mobile access solutions
In this category, readers are asked to rate their top brands for mobile access solutions
. The Top five brands go to Suprema (32.93 percent), HID Global (21.29 percent), ZKTeco (7.23 percent), ASSA ABLOY (6.83 percent) and Genetec (5.22 percent). Other special mentions include Identiv, Allegion and Gallagher.
Mobile access solutions, whereby access credentials are stored in the user’s smart device which can then be used to open doors, are gaining traction due to their perceived convenience compared to other credentials, as well as user preference for contactless solutions during the pandemic. Since the technology entails communication between the mobile device and the reader, security again is cited as a top feature as shown in the following comments:
- "Cyberly secure and safe.”
- "High security degree.”
- "Security technology and convenience.”
- "Excellent security and stability.”
- "Safe credential management based on DID technology.”
The solution’s performance, ease of use and compatibility with a variety of phone models and transmission technologies are also cited:
- "Easy to use, speed.”
- "Authentication speed.”
- "Speed, accuracy.”
- "Convenience and ease to use.”
- "User friendly.”
- "User-friendly mobile access.”
- "Ease of use.”
- "Support a large variety of phone models.”
- "Integration of NFC.”
- "Bluetooth and NFC compatibility.”
Access control brands such as HID Global, Identiv and ASSA ABLOY have long been known for their mobile access solutions. It’s however interesting to see that brands that are strong in biometrics, for example Suprema and ZKTeco, have also launched mobile access solutions that are gaining popularity among users. That said, solutions that can effectively meet user demands, among them security, performance and ease of use, will have a better chance to get more user acceptance.
Third category: Wireless locks
In the third category, readers rated their top brands for wireless locks. ASSA ABLOY, long a leader in this area, takes the top spot with 30.12 percent of readers choosing this brand, followed by HID Global (10.84 percent), Allegion (9.64 percent), ZKTeco (9.64 percent) and Suprema (8.43 percent). Other special mentions include RemoteLock, Kwikset, Latch, Igloohome and Kisi.
Again, security is needed for wireless communication between the lock and other components in the access control system and is therefore heavily demanded by users who commented as follows:
- "Reliability, high security degree.”
- "Security encryption.”
- "High security.”
Since wireless locks are access control hardware devices, users also look for reliability, ease of installation, integration and price, as suggested in following comments:
- "Connection is stable.”
- "Reliability, ethical route to market with enforced pricing strategy to ensure a margin for each step in the channel.”
- "Easy to install and reliability.”
- "User friendly.”
- "Price, features.”
- "Easy integration.”
- "Availability of integration with major platforms.”
Users also look for different authentication factors for example cards, passwords and biometrics:
- "Multi-factor authentication with many combinations.”
Wireless locks enable wireless connection to the access control system and spare users the hassle of running wires and cables. Brands such as ASSA ABLOY and Allegion are strong in this area and offer wireless locks for commercial and residential applications, so their clinching of the top positions is pretty much expected. Security and reliability are important considerations as users want their locks to stand strong against cyberattacks and constantly stay operational to secure their organizations.
We also asked readers to select brands that were not included in the provided list. A majority of them mentioned LenelS2, which is strong in access control management software as well as readers that support a variety of credentials. Other special mentions include Safetrust and Farpointe Data, both with expertise in contactless and mobile credentialing solutions.
About the respondents
In total, for this survey we received 527 responses from a wide gambit of channel players including systems integrators, distributors, consultants and end users. Vertically-speaking, the top industries the respondents work in are government, commercial buildings, manufacturing, smart/safe city, retail and transportation.